chapter  2
The leader and the ideology
Pages 36

The evolution of Miloševic´ as a leader was entwined with his adoption and promotion of Serb nationalism. However it is impossible to fully appreciate his rise to power without contextualising his political career against the various social and political processes that reignited nationalistic movements that had been relatively dormant for decades until the 1980s and which have marked the breakup of the SFRY. Upon his death, some attributed the wars in the former Yugoslavia exclusively to Miloševic´’s “embrace of Serbian nationalism,”1 implying that the ideology had driven his behaviour; and others framed him as a “ruthless manipulator of Serbian nationalism,”2 suggesting instead that he had instrumentalised the ideology for his own ends. But a study of the trial record reveals that in fact both of these assessments were true at different times, and that the dynamics between his power and Serbian nationalism were more nuanced.